iScience - SARS-CoV-2 neutralization following infection and or vaccination
The elicitation of cross-variant neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 represents a major goal for current COVID-19 vaccine strategies. Additionally, natural infection may also contribute to broaden neutralizing responses. To assess the contribution of vaccines and natural infection, we cross-sectionally analyzed plasma neutralization titers of six groups of individuals, organized according to the number of vaccines they received and their SARS-CoV-2 infection history. Two doses of vaccine had a limited capacity to generate cross-neutralizing antibodies against Omicron variants of concern (VOCs) in uninfected individuals, but efficiently synergized with previous natural immunization in convalescent individuals. In contrast, booster dose had a critical impact on broadening the cross-neutralizing response in uninfected individuals, to level similar to hybrid immunity, while still improving cross-neutralizing responses in convalescent individuals. Omicron breakthrough infection improved cross-neutralization of Omicron subvariants but only in non-previously infected vaccinated individuals. Together this data suggests that ancestral spike-based immunization remains a valuable strategy to provide broad SARS-CoV-2 immunity.